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GitHub Pages vs Netlify: What are the differences?

What is GitHub Pages? Public webpages freely hosted and easily published. Public webpages hosted directly from your GitHub repository. Just edit, push, and your changes are live.

What is Netlify? Build, deploy and host your static site or app with a drag and drop interface and automatic delpoys from GitHub or Bitbucket. Netlify is smart enough to process your site and make sure all assets gets optimized and served with perfect caching-headers from a cookie-less domain. We make sure your HTML is served straight from our CDN edge nodes without any round-trip to our backend servers and are the only ones to give you instant cache invalidation when you push a new deploy. Netlify is also the only static hosting service with integrated continuous deployment.

GitHub Pages and Netlify can be primarily classified as "Static Web Hosting" tools.

Some of the features offered by GitHub Pages are:

  • Blogging with Jekyll
  • Custom URLs
  • Automatic Page Generator

On the other hand, Netlify provides the following key features:

  • Global Network
  • Global Network
  • Instant Cache Validation

"Free" is the top reason why over 283 developers like GitHub Pages, while over 25 developers mention "Fastest static hosting and continuous deployments" as the leading cause for choosing Netlify.

Lyft, CircleCI, and Bukalapak are some of the popular companies that use GitHub Pages, whereas Netlify is used by Startae, Ratio, and Flat. GitHub Pages has a broader approval, being mentioned in 576 company stacks & 682 developers stacks; compared to Netlify, which is listed in 85 company stacks and 104 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -
- No public GitHub repository available -

What is GitHub Pages?

Public webpages hosted directly from your GitHub repository. Just edit, push, and your changes are live.

What is Netlify?

Netlify is smart enough to process your site and make sure all assets gets optimized and served with perfect caching-headers from a cookie-less domain. We make sure your HTML is served straight from our CDN edge nodes without any round-trip to our backend servers and are the only ones to give you instant cache invalidation when you push a new deploy. Netlify is also the only static hosting service with integrated continuous deployment.

Want advice about which of these to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

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What are some alternatives to GitHub Pages and Netlify?
GitLab Pages
Host your static websites on GitLab.com for free, or on your own GitLab Enterprise Edition instance. Use any static website generator: Jekyll, Middleman, Hexo, Hugo, Pelican, and more
Amazon S3
Amazon Simple Storage Service provides a fully redundant data storage infrastructure for storing and retrieving any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web
Medium
Medium is a different kind of place on the internet. A place where the measure of success isn’t views, but viewpoints. Where the quality of the idea matters, not the author’s qualifications. A place where conversation pushes ideas forward.
WordPress
The core software is built by hundreds of community volunteers, and when you’re ready for more there are thousands of plugins and themes available to transform your site into almost anything you can imagine. Over 60 million people have chosen WordPress to power the place on the web they call “home” — we’d love you to join the family.
Heroku
Heroku is a cloud application platform – a new way of building and deploying web apps. Heroku lets app developers spend 100% of their time on their application code, not managing servers, deployment, ongoing operations, or scaling.
See all alternatives
Decisions about GitHub Pages and Netlify
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Reviews of GitHub Pages and Netlify
Review ofNetlifyNetlify

To start off, check this out: https://perfwars.com/netlify.com/vs/godaddy.com/

If you are new to Netlify, it will take you less than 5 minutes to get your site up and running, 3 minutes if you are fast. To get started simply go here: https://app.netlify.com/

Choose one of the following options to sign up: GitHub, BitBucket, GitLab, or you can use your email address.

If you sign up with your email address, it will ask you to enter a 4 digit verification code that they sent to your email address.

Once signed in, you will be shown a quick intro:

  1. SIMPLY PUSH TO DEPLOY
  2. FREE ONE-CLICK HTTPS
  3. NEVER HAVE TO LEAVE TERMINAL

These are three huge benefits of Netlify over most other hosting platforms.

OK, now that you have signed up and gone through the highlights, you need just select new site. From there you can either link a Git repository or just drag and drop your site folder into the browser window. Your site will be uploaded and available for browsing within a minute or so.

Once your site is on Netlify, you can setup a custom domain by selected the settings tab, if you are not already there, then click edit next to domain. Simply put your domain in, save and then follow instructions on Netlify's documentation page on how to set up your DNS: https://www.netlify.com/docs/custom-domains

So easy! You are done setting up your site! Now for making changes and adding features. You no longer have to do crazy manual set ups to get SSL installed on your site, with Netlify even my grandma could do it! You can still use your own certificate if you prefer, but if you wanted it even easier, all you have to do is select "Lets Encrypt Certificate" from the SSL tab on your site in Netlify.

When you select "Lets Encrypt Certificate", Netlify shows a dialog entitled "Automatic TLS Setup" and asks you to ensure that your DNS is set up properly before you provision the certificate. This is important, and it will be fine so long as you set up your DNS properly according to their custom domains documentation that I shared earlier. All you need to do here is click save. The SSL will start to work shortly and all http URLs will automatically be redirected to https! And the best part is, it is free!

Recap of the setup process: 1. Sign up and verify your account 2. Link repository or drag and drop site folder 3. Change domain and setup DNS 4. True One-click SSL 5. Upgrade your site for more awesome features (Optional)

That's it! You are done! Takes less than 5 minutes!

Before I came across Netlify, I would often use drag and drop web builders because the complication of managing servers and setting up configurations to handle forms and SSL were too complicated. With Netlify however, all you need to do for form handling is to put in a little call out to Netlify to say, hey, this is a form I want you to handle. It is so easy! You already know how easy it is to set up SSL now too. I now have no fears in launching a site, setting up form handling and SSL.

If you are interested in setting up the form handling, you can go here: https://www.netlify.com/docs/form-handling

Netlify also has amazing and simple documentation. I have never had a problem figuring something out. If ever I have had a question, I have found a resolution with in 1-2 minutes in their documentation. They have thought of everything!

My favorite tools in Netlify are the notifications! You can set up your form handling to automatically notify you via email or even Slack. I love Slack too by the way, and being able to get updates about my deployments or form handling via Slack is a huge plus.

The notification integrations are my favorite, however, I still cannot get over how easy it is to set up SSL and form handling. They are by far the most useful features for me. Another very useful feature is being able to see a history of your builds and having the ability to restore to a previous build or download it. I have been unable to find any of these features in their simplicity anywhere else. Netlify is literally the easiest to use, most reliable and overall best hosting platform out there.

One more mention, the founder of Netlify is involved in the JAMStack Revolution. Here is a quick blurb from their site (Looks Awesome!):

JAM stands for JavaScript, APIs and Markup. It's the fastest growing stack for building websites and apps: no more servers, host all your front-end on a CDN and use APIs for any moving parts.

Learn more about JAMStack here: https://jamstack.org https://github.com/jamstack/jamstack.org

How developers use GitHub Pages and Netlify
Avatar of Adrenal Fatigue Solution
Adrenal Fatigue Solution uses GitHub PagesGitHub Pages

Adrenal Fatigue Solution use high-quality ingredients, well-researched chemistry, and efficient oral delivery to ensure your well-being comes first. Our goal is to provide you with the tools to live the healthiest life possible through fast-acting products designed to improve bodily functions on a cellular level.

Avatar of yaswanthgoud3235
yaswanthgoud3235 uses GitHub PagesGitHub Pages

t is integrated with the Jekyll software for static web site and blog generation. The Jekyll source pages for a web site can be stored on GitHub as a Git repository, and when the repository is updated the GitHub Pages servers will automatically regenerate the site.

Avatar of ioi0
ioi0 uses NetlifyNetlify

Serves the main site through CDN. Provides super easy password protection and third-level domain for staging. Uses web hooks from Contentful and Github to know when to trigger new build and update the site. Perfect.

Avatar of Mimeograph Cognitive
Mimeograph Cognitive uses GitHub PagesGitHub Pages

Our main purpose for GitHub pages is inspecting open source code for the purpose of finding out if someone else has already solved a solution to a problem we're working on and whether or not it fits into our plan.

Avatar of RentChek
RentChek uses GitHub PagesGitHub Pages

We take advantage of Githubs very lightweight, but powerful static file hosting for our front-end static files. But we have a CDN in front of this to ensure best performance for users anywhere.

Avatar of Matt Welke
Matt Welke uses GitHub PagesGitHub Pages

Currently used to host my personal developer blog. Used with Jekyll. Easy to set up and link to my domain.

I plan to use GitHub Pages in the future for static documentation sites.

Avatar of MassTimes
MassTimes uses NetlifyNetlify

Netlify makes it super-easy for various team members to deploy whenever there's a push to our Git master branch. Automatic build, deployment, and setup on CDN.

Avatar of GitDocs
GitDocs uses NetlifyNetlify

It's free and has so many features - just perfect for open-source projects like GitDocs.

Avatar of Loog
Loog uses NetlifyNetlify

We use Netlify to host all of our Hugo sites with continuous deployment.

Avatar of doodledudes
doodledudes uses NetlifyNetlify

Super easy to setup to have your prototypes deployed with CI.

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How much does Netlify cost?
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